The United Arab Emirates is the region’s top tourism-friendly country and is ranked 24th globally, thanks to major developments in the tourism sector and infrastructure.
Security, high-quality air travel and effective branding campaigns have all contributed to the UAE being awarded this high ranking, according to press reports and global rankings cited by Al Bayan.
According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2015 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, the UAE has built a unique environment to attract both business and leisure travellers and is investing in and giving significant importance to the development of the travel and tourism industry.
The WEF report indicates that the UAE’s ranking is supported by its world-renowned air transport infrastructure (ranked 3rd) and its positioning as a gateway for Europeans to Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Referring to a New York Times report, Al Bayan says Dubai’s strategic location makes it a major point linking the east with the west, thus attracting a large number of international travellers.
In 2014, Dubai received 13.2 million tourists and visitors, with the target set at 20mn by 2020. Earlier this year, Dubai International Airport overtook Heathrow to become the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, dealing with about 71 million international passengers yearly.